Say compliments out loud

Those of you who know me, know that I have many theories and philosophies on life.

One of the philosophies is this: life is short, so you should trim the lukewarm parts and only leave room for the best.

Only eat food that you love, only do activities that you actually want to do, only buy things that delight you, and only hang out with people who you think are awesome.

Because of this filter, the people I spend any amount of time with, or attention on, are people who I think really highly of.

I realized, though, that many times I’m gushing about friends, acquaintances, distant heroes, or colleagues….in my head. I don’t actually say some of it out loud. In my mind, I think I’m complimenting them all the time, but in reality they have no idea.

Part of my reluctance to say compliments out loud might be because I’m being afraid of sounding too eager or bright-eyed. But someone I respect told me the other day, “If it’s a positive thing and you truly believe it, you should say it out loud.”

If you don’t vocalize a compliment, the other person might never know that there’s a specific thing that you appreciate about them, or that you found your interaction to be really positive, or that you think they are amazing at what they do.

If you don’t say it, it’s as if the thought didn’t occur to you. It just came and went in your own mind. If you say an honest, true, and sincere compliment to someone, it further deepens your relationship and the layers of friendship.

In an effort to say things out loud, here are a few compliments that popped into mind from the past 24 hours.

I recently met Quinn. She runs a global org but is down-to-earth and makes people feel included.  Her presence brightened up the whole office.

I love Ishita’s writing. She’ll paste her entire blog post into a Facebook status. You’ll read the whole thing right then and there, and before you know it, you’ve realized a deep truth that snuck into your brain under the radar.

Alex shares mini design lessons and openly discusses design solutions with zero ego. I get to swivel my chair around and work with someone who’s incredibly refined at his craft, and a joy to brainstorm with.

I’m not sure yet when I can insert my compliments into casual conversation yet. I’ll think about the timing. In the meantime, I’m going to make an effort to say compliments out loud, in real-time, when I think of them.